Singapore IP Development

  In Singapore, specific regulations and laws are enacted to protect IP rights in regard of patents, trademarks, registered designs, copyrights, integrated circuit designs, geographical indications, trade secrets and confidential information as well as plant varieties. Besides, Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS), the IP regulator and policy advisor of the country, is committed to maintaining a robust and pro-business IP regime for the protection and commercial exploitation of IP.
  In May 2012, Singapore established the Intellectual Property Committee. Afterwards, with the aim of developing Singapore as a global IP hub in IP transactions and management, a financing plan which allows companies to use IP as mortgage was launched in 2013. This plan encourages banks to recognize IP as an asset, develop IP financing capability for financial institutions and help enterprise rich in IP raise more funds, with the government shouldering the loan risk.
  In 2013, IPOS established a new Centre of Excellence for IP Valuation, which gathered industry stakeholders to undertake a range of activities, including researches on IP valuation methodologies, training and certification for IP valuation professionals, as well as establishing industry-wide best practices.
  Singapore has signed Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs)-a compliant IP rights legislative and administrative regime. It is also a signatory to the following international conventions: Paris Convention, Berne Convention, Madrid Protocol, Patent Cooperation Treaty, Budapest Treaty, Agreement on Trade- Related Aspects of IP Rights, World Intellectual Property Organization. The accession in March 30, 2015 to Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled is one recent step of Singapore’s global IP system integration.
  In Singapore, the law to regulate the patent protection is the Patent Law. To obtain patent protection, one must submit patent applications to Patents Registry. The patent applications need contain the relevant information including inventions, operating instructions and related disclosures. The Patent Law does not explicitly list which invention is subject to legal protection, but it provides which invention cannot be patented, such as offensive, immoral, and antisocial ones. The patented invention must be new, creative and industrially applicable, and it is valid for 20 years from the date of application.
  Several main patent related laws and regulations have been amended and passed in 2014, including Patents Act (Amendment), Patent (Amendment) Rules, and Examination Guidelines for Patent Applications at IPOS. The biggest change lies in the patent examination.
  In Singapore, the main law for the trademark protection is the Trademark Law. Trademark can be registered through the website of IPOS or registered personally at the office. IPOS will examine the characteristics of the trademark. The entire registration process usually takes one to two years. The trademark is usually valid for 10 years from the date of registration, and can be renewed after the payment.
  In Singapore, the main law to regulate the copyright protection is the Copyright Law, which protects novels, software programs, scripts, sheet music, paintings and so on. To obtain copyright protection, the following conditions must be met: the author or creator of the copyright works is a Singapore citizen or resident; or the work is first published in Singapore. The copyrighted works obtained outside of Singapore can be protected in Singapore, on condition that the author or creator of the work is a citizen or resident from a country which has joined the WTO or is a member of the Berne Convention, and the work is published for the first time in the member states of the WTO or the Berne Convention. Duration of copyright differs among the protected objects such as the duration term of literature, drama, music or non-photography is the whole life of the author and the subsequent 70 years; the duration term of the recording works and films is a period of 70 years since the work is published for the first time; the duration term of television broadcasting, radio broadcast for cable television programs is 50 years after the show is released.
Source: International IP Law Firms 2016
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